In a meeting session filled with school construction matters, the Clarke County Supervisors pressed two school board members on the status of plans to begin renovations on existing school buildings now that anticipated completion of the new high school is only six months away.
However, the response that the Supervisor’s received appeared not to be what they had hoped or expected to hear.
During time allotted during the Supervisors meeting for its regular school construction briefing, school board member and construction committee chairman Robina Rich (White Post) told the Supervisors that excellent progress was being made by construction crews and that substantial completion of the project is on track for January 23, 2012.
“We’ve just started working on scheduling for when we will begin installing furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE)” Bouffault said. “$1.5M of the $2.5M FFE budget is dedicated to technology so it’s quite a complex task.”
School Board Chairman Barbara Lee (Millwood) had earlier confirmed to the Supervisors the school division had just purchased 465 new computers for the new high school and that wireless network access will be available throughout the facility.
“We’re extremely pleased about the progress we’ve made with technology” Lee said.
But after Lee and Bouffault’s assurances that school construction was well under control, several supervisors pressed Lee about the school board’s renovation plans for the divisions existing school buildings.
The result was confusion and disagreement on the status of renovation plans and the corresponding $7M available for the work.
As both Lee and Bouffault stood together at the speaker’s podium, Supervisor John Staelin (Millwood) asked if planning had commenced for conversion of the existing high school to a middle school.
Lee replied that she believed that work was moving forward.
However Bouffault, who appeared concerned that incorrect information was being communicated to the Supervisors, appeared to differ with Lee stating “I don’t think that is correct, Mike Murphy cancelled that.”
The confusion prompted Supervisor Barbara Byrd (Russell) to ask “Who’s in charge of renovations then?”
“No one is in charge of renovations right now” replied Lee.
“What about the budget? Byrd followed.
“Budgets have been discussed but no budgets have been put on paper so far” Bouffault added.
“Well, it needs to get on paper so that we don’t have a big hiccup” said Byrd.
The next Clarke County School Board construction meeting will be July 18th at 6:30pm